Shifts & Shakeups

This Week in Restaurant News: Stowell Makes Big Plans and Smith Changes Hands

Five dining developments on our radar this week.

By Courtney Cummings July 19, 2019

The kind of PB&J we can get behind.

Stowell Strikes Again

Ethan Stowell has a lot cooking right now, between a semi-recent merger with Kigo Kitchen and a new venture in NYC. Now the restaurateur is putting even more on his plate and plans to open a third Tavolàta late this year, per Eater Seattle. The downtown location will settle into a new building called 2+U at, well, Second and University. Stowell's first Tavolàta opened in Belltown (less than 10 blocks from the new outpost) in 2007, serving up overtly Italian food like housemade pasta and richly braised meats. This spin-off will be much the same, with pizza, a full bar, private dining, and outdoor seating too.

And Derschang Scales Back

Though the Capitol Hill restaurateur expanded her empire just last fall when she opened Queen City, Linda Derschang recently sold Smith to new owners, according to Capitol Hill Seattle. Derschang shared that she hopes to work less and travel a lot more, especially to New York. But no need to panic: First-time owners Christopher Forcyzk and Marianne Ide say they don't have any major changes planned for Smith; instead, they hope to grow with the restaurant that just recently celebrated its 12th anniversary. All of which means Smith burgers and poutine are here to stay, and—we hope—the classic Derschang-ian taxidermy too.

Boulder Blends Break Ground

Colorado-born, fast-casual smoothie bowl chain Rush Bowls will open its first Seattle location on July 29. In true Boulder granola fashion, Rush is all about bringing healthy dining to the masses, like Evergreens, but sweeter. The new Lower Queen Anne spot will have a menu of about 20 different bowls within categories like “enlightened,” “comfort,” “adventure,” and plain ole acai. On our radar: the Spicy Bowl, a blend of tropical fruits with a kick of cayenne, and the Chocolate Covered Strawberry, a strawberry-banana mix topped with chocolate sauce.

Cafe Flora Serves Queen

Well, one member of the band Queen, that is. Brian May, lead guitarist of the ’70s rock band, dined at the Madison Valley vegetarian hub last week and praised the restaurant for its “unpretentious” food on Instagram. “You can keep your Michelin stars,” the rock star wrote, “Give me nice, simple creative dishes like this, made from fresh local produce…Night Folks. Bri.” We agree, Bri, we'll take those Oaxaca-inspired tacos and yam fries any day.

Buddhazen Bets on Bellevue

Speaking of Michelin stars: On the heels of an announcement that Angler (San Francisco chef Joshua Skenes’s seafood outpost) will open in the new Avenue Bellevue building come 2021, the high-rise welcomes another project, Buddhazen, from the group behind New York's Buddakan. Set to open around the same time, this contemporary Asian addition has some interesting plans in the works from big architectural statements (grand staircase, for instance) to a DJ booth—oh yes, nightlife vibes with Chinese-styled water features.

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